Whitethroats and a white point

Today we were somewhat pre-occupied with my mother-in-law, Emma’s, funeral: The service was well attended and hopefully a fitting tribute. Our children, Jenny and Chris, were with us and also our friends Jeremy and Cecilia from Cambridge. After the funeral we decided to go out for a walk with them all, followed by a meal in the pub at Thornham. It was a lovely evening and the walk was the same one that Brenda and I had done a few days previously – from Holme Dunes to Thornham.

Once again it was a hugely enjoyable outing with good views of lesser whitethroat and some new flowers which Brenda will talk about below. I didn’t manage to photograph the lesser whitethroat but did get two rather nice portraits of a common whitethroat.

common whitethroat

Jenny found a rather excellent oak eggar moth caterpillar.

An oak eggar caterpillar

She was obviously in an eagle-eyed state as she also discovered a common toad crossing the path at one point!

common toad

Brenda writes: “With the weather finally warming up the flower species are romping away. I never cease to be amazed that I see one single flower and then suddenly that same plant is in flower everywhere – nature’s internal clock at work. Today we had another walk between Holme and Thornham and the margins of village ponds on the way there were a sea of yellow flag iris. As we drove up the bumpy track to Holme (with added speed bumps!) the brambles were covered in flowers, my first new species of the day.

There were also three new species on our walk and we managed to get pictures of one that I have logged in the past – birdsfoot trefoil, a very common ground cover plant which has yellow flowers with flashes of orangy red.

birdsfoot trefoil

Along the boardwalk there was a lovely patch of sea campion which is low growing and, like bladder campion, has a ‘bladder’ behind the white flower which in sea campion is tinged pink.

sea campion

Another sea-side plant today was common scurvy-grass so called because sailors used to eat it to ward off scurvy when at sea because it is rich in vitamin C. Apparently at one time scurvy-grass ale was a popular tonic drink. I’ve seen domesticated honeysuckle already this year but today was the first time I’ve seen it in the wild this year. There were two new moths in the trap this morning. White point is a common moth that, funnily enough, has a a white point in the middle of its wing.

white point

The other was a small moth called a marbled minor which I’ve always thought is extremely pretty with its black and white markings.

marbled minor

New species for May 24th:
Moths: white point, marbled minor
Flowers: bramble, sea campion, honeysuckle, common scurvy-grass